Becoming a Hospice Volunteer

Kimberly Mills, PhD, is the Volunteer Coordinator at Angels Grace Hospice in Illinois. She recruits and trains volunteers (many of them young pre-med students) to sit with the patients. She has been with Angels Grace for 5 and a half years, and has trained many volunteers. This is what she tells all of them.

“At some visit in your time with us, this will happen and it will be magic. You will be sitting at the bedside of a stranger, a patient, who is perhaps dozing lightly, in a fog of Alzheimer’s and pain medication. You will be holding her hand, playing her favorite music softly on your phone. She will suddenly wake up, open her eyes and turn to you. Your eyes will lock. And then time stops. Everything gets really quiet. And she is staring so intently at you that you realize at that moment, to her, you are the most important person in the world. And you get it that this is a sacred moment in time and that there is no place you would rather be.”